Lent prayer vigil for climate justice

This action is part of the No Faith in Fossil Fuels campaign organised by a coalition of Christian charities.

Christians are holding a 10-day climate justice prayer vigil outside the Houses of Parliament. Starting on Ash Wednesday, people from across the country are meeting up at Westminster – while others hold vigils in their homes and churches.

The event – which will run around-the-clock from February 14-24 – has been organised by a coalition of charities including A Rocha UK, Christian Aid, CAFOD, Christian Climate Action, Green Christian, Operation Noah, the Salvation Army and Tearfund.

Bishop Mike Royal preaching at No Faith in Fossil Fuels opening service
Bishop Mike Royal preaching at the No Faith in Fossil Fuels vigil opening service. Copyright Amit Rudro/CAFOD

The initiative has been given support from church and charity leaders around the country. General Secretary of Churches Together in England Bishop Mike Royal and Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund, spoke at the opening service at St John’s Church, Waterloo.

Bishop Mike said: “Climate change impacts us all but it impacts the poorest countries the most. Climate justice is racial justice and that’s why we’ll be supporting the Lent Vigil.”

Christians in Parliament Square for No Faith in FossilFuel vigil
Christians walking to Parliament Square for No Faith in Fossil Fuels vigil. Copyright Amit Rudro/CAFOD

Christine Allen, Director of the Catholic aid agency CAFOD, said:

“We know that the continued burning of fossil fuels, and increased climate disasters, are endangering our common home, impacting the lives of our brothers and sisters in communities around the world.

“We know we can’t go on endorsing or burning fossil fuels, and so today at the start of Lent, a period of fasting, we stand in prayer together. Our prayer is that the hearts of our leaders would be turned towards our global community- those who suffer the most in this climate crisis. We pray our call will be heard in the halls of Parliament.”

Christian Aid Campaigns and Organising Officer, Jessica Hall, explained: “As the climate crisis wreaks havoc in our world, we are gathering in vigil, to pray for our global neighbours, for the planet and for bold climate action from the UK Government. We hope people will join us, whether in London or elsewhere and call on the Government to make the UK’s biggest polluters pay for climate action; deliver and build on the UK’s international climate finance pledges as well as pay into the UN’s Loss & Damage Fund; and ban new UK-based fossil fuel projects.”    

The vigil will end on Saturday 24 February with an ecumenical service opposite Downing Street at 2pm.

If you are not able to join the vigil in London, Christian Aid has prepared resources to help you ‘vigil at home’.

Find out more about the No Faith in Fossil Fuels vigil.

The Salvation Army is a national Member Church of CTE; Christian Aid and CAFOD are National Agencies of CTE and A Rocha UK, Operation Noah, and Tearfund are Charities and Networks in Association with CTE.

Photo credits: copyright Amit Rudro/CAFOD